Very scared - Grand Entry on spooky horse?
 
 

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Very scared - Grand Entry on spooky horse?

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  • Training your horse to carry a flag
  • How to prepare a horse to carry a flag

 
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    12-07-2011, 12:43 PM
  #1
Trained
Very scared - Grand Entry on spooky horse?

Okay so for my equestrian team, we have to carry our school flag in for grand entry. There are three meets throughout the year. Last year, I carried the American flag (O.O I tried to say it was a bad idea but they wouldn't let me back out) and that was a disaster. The run around during the anthem was okay but at the end when the crowd cheered, Rebel RAN sideways away from the stands and into the line of other horses and their riders (carrying school flags) The next time I went inside just carrying my school flag and he was constantly leaning away from the stands towards the others again, and spooks when the crowd cheers. The third time I got my other friend to ride in with me and block him from running sideways. He was instantly better when he had a friend.

But this year, I don't have any other teammates. It's just me, and my coach isn't allowed to ride in with me. I mean, he's not going to spook and buck me off or anything, but I'm scared he's going to bolt or run off with me in the arena or run into another horse that'll kick or spook or knock somebody else off in front of the entire population of athletes, coaches, parents....

But I absolutely CANNOT back out of grand entry. Last time I tried, I got a major earful from the director of the event....She was really mean about it. When I carried the american flag, she told me "I don't care if you break your neck, you will NOT drop that flag." .....Well I'm sorry, but if my horse spooks and tries to flip himself inside out I'm chucking the flag and saving myself, I don't care if the flag is blessed by god himself!

Anyway....I know I have some time before the first meet, but there is no other event where I can get in that arena with the crowd like that, and I'm really nervous. He's an angel in that arena with the flag when there's no screaming, yelling, shouting people above him....And the arena is completely enclosed, so everything is a MAJOR echo.

I'm just wondering if any of you have been in a siliar situation and how you handled it. I'm trying to find another horse (My friends rodeo Queen horse to be exact) since there's nothing I can really do to prepare him beforehand. I literally have no other enclosed areas with loud noises. He's fine with crowds in open, non-echoing areas.
     
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    12-07-2011, 12:49 PM
  #2
Showing
That's a tough one SH. I'd definitely work at borrowing the other horse. If not, practice at home with as many man made distractions and noises as you can - loud radio with just white noise/static, friends/family to clap, cheer, act like fools, do you have others who can ride with you for distraction at home?
     
    12-07-2011, 01:01 PM
  #3
mls
Trained
Our club does grand entry for one of the area rodeos every year. We carry the sponsor flags to 'set the arena'. There is no complete way to prepare for everything (riding through the metal chutes with kicking bulls and broncs on either side. The roar of the crowd, the wind flapping the flags, etc.) You need to be able to ride and correct your horse as quickly and safely as possible.

We have tryouts to see who can carry the flag, lope, turn, stop and stand. The other members weave through us like the rodeo participants do.

It's great fun and very exciting!
     
    12-07-2011, 01:17 PM
  #4
Weanling
Horse ear plugs? I don't know of anyone that has used them.

Horse Ear Plugs - Small - Frontier Western Shop Ltd.
     
    12-07-2011, 02:04 PM
  #5
Started
^ agreeing with ear Plugs. I've heard cotton balls or tampons can work as well. It'll dull the sound down some and that may help.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    12-07-2011, 03:29 PM
  #6
Started
There are CDs out there that have just about every sound imaginable. They use them to train poilce horses.
     
    12-07-2011, 03:39 PM
  #7
Trained
If he works well with the flag in practise then that obviously isn't his issue, I third the idea of ear plugs, CD noises are a great idea, hanging streamers and grocery bags off of all the posts in the arena, and tying balloons to them as well, all this will help.
     
    12-07-2011, 06:26 PM
  #8
Trained
Thanks for your replies you guys. Even though I wa scard to death I did really enjoy myself...I was usually lucky enough to find someone in the line of horses who could stand next to me when they were announcing other schools.

Here is the video of us carrying the american flag. Wrong lead, face-hanging, running sideways and all.....Be honest, can you tell how much I was holding him back? He wanted to run so bad, I cheated and waited til the gate to fix his wrong lead because I didn't trust him with a flying lead change not to take off (He was very green with flying changes at the time) and I felt like the entire time I was completely pulling his face off. I guess it doesn't look AS bad as I felt, or make it out to be, but still....


But then see this video, he is very calm in the same arena. This is for the athlete games, where he was always MUCH better, even when I was riding him in there without the other horse next to me he was great. We won $50 at that event.


I do think a part of it is definitely me being nervous making him nervous, but I just don't think I can fix that without getting in the arena. That and he's naturally spooky at things like that anyway, (We had crash tests in parades too e.o) So we're just a ticking timebomb together.

I'm going to ride the other horse today at drill practice. I'll tell you guys how it goes!
     

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